Was the fallout from Fiverr banning Voiceoverpete the start of a freelancer revolution?
In case, you haven’t heard, UpWork has received a bit of backlash recently. Specifically, concerning a bit of a boast that 42% of millennials are now freelancing and (of course), UpWork is the place to be for budding self-starters.
If you can’t be bothered to read the whole article, some Twitter posts ridiculing UpWork’s interpretation of the stats can be found below:
In short, despite all the cheery “freelancing is fantastic” posturing by big marketplaces, freelancers themselves are starting to give voice to the hard realities of going solo. - And it would seem that many people feel forced to go freelance, rather than choose to.
Moving on from Upwork and its latest attempt to shore up its share price , discontent is also brewing on the Patreon front:
With Patreon, creators are leaving in droves due to indiscriminate account bans which seem to target people with conservative political views. What is more, the entire Patreon exodus has begun as a result of a user making comments off-platform. - A little like a freelance platform like Fiverr, deciding to ban a user because of private comments made on Twitter.
Events surrounding Patreon are interesting.
In effect, bans on Patreon seem to come about in the same way as they do on freelance platforms like Fiverr. Patreon does not say why a user has been banned. Instead, they just cite ‘Trust & Safety’ concerns, before carrying on with business as usual. The problem is, most Patreon users have platforms where they can independently call out Patreon to thousands of Patreon subscribers. (A little like what we saw with Voiveoverpete this year.)
This results in a significant public backlash and… Well, it seems like freelancers and independent content creators aren’t willing to bow before the altar of job insecurity anymore. Some are even calling for a kind of Digital Constitution.
As well as this, what the recent UpWork/ Fast.Co PR campaign demonstrates, is that there is an increasing disparity between how freelancing is portrayed in the media and how life really is in the digital trenches. (Likely because PR campaigns by major freelance marketplaces are just that. - PR.)
Of course, everything looks rosy on the surface. However, I think 2019 could be the year when more freelancers start rising up or at least start shedding light on what it is really like to freelance. - Or at least I can be hopeful.
Anyway, Happy New Year everyone!